Gladden's 2-Run Double Lifts Iowa


March 16, 2012

Box Score

FULLERTON, Calif. — Freshman Melanie Gladden’s two run double in the top of the seventh inning lifted the University of Iowa softball team to a 2-0 victory over Virginia on Friday morning at the Judi Garman Classic.

“Mel did a nice job of driving a pitch that she could,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “She drove that pitch to deep centerfield, and we were able to push two runs across.”

Iowa’s victory snaps the team’s five-game losing streak and improves its record to 10-12 on the season. Virginia falls to 16-8.

After collecting three hits over the first six innings, the Hawkeye bats came alive in the seventh. Junior Johnnie Dowling singled to lead off the frame before senior Katie Keim followed with a one-out single up the middle to put two runners on.

After a double steal moved the runners to second and third, Gladden hit a 3-2 pitch to the base of the wall in right centerfield. The third baseman was thrown out at third base trying to stretch the hit into a triple, but the damage had been done, as Dowling and Keim scored on the play.

From there, sophomore Kayla Massey completed the shutout, pitching around a walk and a single in the bottom of the inning by striking out the final two batters of the game. Massey scattered three hits and struck out five Cavalier batters over seven innings to notch her fifth victory.

“Kayla was able to find the zone and make them swing at some of her pitches,” said Looper. “She got us the ground balls when we needed to, and we were able to hold on to it enough to score and not give up any runs. It was a solid performance even without having our best stuff.”

Five players had at least one hit in the game. Keim led the way by going 2-for-3 with a run scored. It was her team-leading 10th multi-hit game this season.

UVA starter Melanie Mitchell took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts.

Due to the projected weather for the weekend, Iowa added a game to its schedule for Friday evening. The Hawkeyes will face No. 13 Arizona beginning at 9:30 p.m. (CT).

Iowa 2, Virginia 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Iowa (10-12) 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 6 0
Virginia (16-8) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Game Decision
W: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 5-6
L: Melanie Mitchell (UVA) 10-5